Five Procedures to Repair a Cracked or Broken Tooth
Your teeth are very strong, but they can still become cracked or even broken. It can be scary when you first notice the damage, but repair is possible. At Maple Ridge Endodontics, your endodontist in Spanish Fork, Utah, we can restore your smile. Here are five procedures used to repair a tooth. The treatment used for you will depend on how badly your tooth was damaged.
How teeth get cracked or broken
Teeth enamel is the strongest tissue in the body, and it is meant to protect the teeth. Most of the time, it does its job. However, things such as chewing ice, playing sports without a mouth guard, or falling down on concrete can all result in a cracked or broken tooth. Additionally, teeth can be weakened by tooth decay and cavities, making them more susceptible to damage. Certain foods can also be particularly damaging. The top nine, according to the American Dental Association, are hard candy, ice, citrus, coffee, dried fruit, potato chips, soda, alcohol, and sports drinks.
Types of cracked teeth
Teeth can crack in several ways. Small cracks are known as craze lines and occur more often in adults. When a piece of the chewing surface or edge of the tooth breaks off, it is called a fractured cusp. A tooth can also crack (extending from the chewing surface toward the root) or split (a result of a long-term cracked tooth). If a crack begins in the root of the tooth and extends all the way towards the chewing surface, it is called a vertical root fracture.
Procedures to save tooth
Dental bonding: can be used to repair chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored, misshapen, or gapped teeth. This procedure, which usually does not require anesthesia, consists of applying a putty onto the tooth which is then molded and smoothed into the right shape. It will then be hardened to strengthen it. It is further shaped and polished after it dries to match the rest of the tooth.
Veneers: Usually used as a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of teeth, veneers are thin porcelain covers that are bonded onto the front of the teeth. Veneers can be used to treat the same issues as dental bonding and can last up to 30 years.
Dental crowns: A tooth that has been chipped badly or is causing pain may need to be fitted with a crown, also called a cap because it completely surrounds a tooth. For this common restorative procedure, part of the tooth will have to be shaven down to allow the crown, which is made from an impression, to fit.
Root canal: A crack that has reached the pulp of the tooth will have to be treated with a root canal, which cleans out the decayed tooth matter and removes the nerve, then replaces it with a biocompatible material. The tooth will usually be topped with a crown to protect it and restore full functionality after the root canal has been completed.
Dental implant: Sometimes, a damaged tooth is no longer treatable and will have to be extracted. It can be replaced then with a dental implant, which is a small metal post surgically inserted into the jaw bone. The implant is capped with a crown to restore use to the tooth.
If you have suffered a cracked or broken tooth, it is important to receive treatment as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening and to avoid further damage and more extensive treatment. Contact us at Maple Ridge Endodontics in Spanish Fork, Utah to schedule an appointment. We want to help restore your beautiful, functional smile.